Q&A: Panini America Executive Addresses Elimination of Retail MAPP Pricing Policy
During two days worth of intensive, impassioned and productive distributor meetings at company headquarters earlier this week, Panini America Vice President of Sales, D.J. Kazmierczak, announced that the company would no longer require hobby shops to adhere to a previously instated minimum advertised pricing policy (MAPP) on its products. The policy change is effective with the February 27 release of 2012 National Treasures Baseball and includes products currently being solicited.
The announcement reinforces a philosophical shift in the company’s sales efforts and is intended to give Panini America’s content-rich products a faster start immediately upon release. Today, Kazmierczak elaborated on the decision.
What were some of the key factors that led to the decision to eliminate the retail MAPP?
“The main factor was velocity of sales. Panini America products have the most autograph and memorabilia cards in the industry and the first 30 days of the sales cycle are critical for many of those cards to make it into collectors’ hands and, subsequently, the secondary market. Another factor is that our superior product content supports a move toward a more free-market approach.
What do you see as the biggest benefits to removing the retail MAPP policy? How will our products benefit and how will dealers benefit?
“The biggest benefit will be market liquidity. That approach will benefit everyone involved because it helps with inventory turns. In addition, this different approach will create more demand for pre-ordering product. That is something that we all prefer.”
What has early feedback been to the retail MAPP elimination?
“Overall, it has been positive. Obviously, there are merits to a retail MAPP policy and those merits were the reason that our company went in that direction a couple of years ago. But this is a very fluid category and the time has come for a fundamental shift in philosophy. The ultimate goal at the end of the day is to provide the marketplace the opportunity to pull a product through in a reasonable amount of time. With our strong stable of brands, we feel that our products will perform strongly in the marketplace based on their own merit.”